These 4 Quick Podcasts Will Make You Smarter in Just 20 Minutes

Updated 05/30/17

While we love the convenience of daily newsletters, there's something to be said for podcasts (namely, the fact that they require even less effort). And the rise of short, 30-minute podcast episodes makes staying up to date and informed that much easier. What's more, you can even select these mini lessons based on your hobbies or interests, as recently pointed out by Business Insider. "You can be squished on the subway, folding your laundry, or waiting in line at the grocery store, and simultaneously learning about current events, human behavior, or economics," it writes.

Below, find four of their favorite mini podcasts that will educate, inform, and inspire you in just 30 minutes or less.

If You Love History: The Memory Palace

Host Nate DiMeo manages to walk you through some of the most peculiar events in our nation's history in the span of just five minutes. What's more, he does so in a way that's "moving, hilarious, or both," writes BI. A few of its favorite episodes include Dreamland, or "the tale of the ambitious Coney Island amusement park that burned down in 1911," and Secret Kitty, or "the time the CIA planned on using wired cats to spy on the Soviets." 

If You Love Psychology: The Hidden Brain

Host Shankar Vedantam brings the science of human behavior to life in The Hidden Brain via the stories of everyday people. "He explains the psychology behind everything from political preferences to sex on college campuses," explains BI. What's more, he interviews an expert in almost every single short, 25-minute episode (we especially loved the recent episode about IKEA).

If You Love Design: 99% Invisible

You'll never look at your surroundings the same way again after listening to 99% Invisible. Host Roman Mars cover everything from "how a 'fish cannon' is used to keep fish populations thriving" to "why some urban architecture is intentionally 'hostile' to homeless people." It's two parts design and architecture and one part psychology.

If You Love Finance: Planet Money

Leave it to the Planet Money hosts to take otherwise dull topics (finance and economics) and transform them into entertaining stories; it's like TheSkimm of podcasts. "Some episodes answer everyday questions—Why is the milk in the back of the store?—while others uncover economic history to figure out mysteries such as why exactly we work so much," BI notes.

Head to Business Insider for more selects, and share your podcast recommendation in the comments below!

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